This is the best gear for making your TikTok videos look cinematic and professional. Perfect for IG Reels videos, too!
Listen, Dave, I get it. TikTok. It’s hardly Kodak 250D. It’s not cinema. I get it. I’m not even sure I’d class it as actual content. However, as it’s one of the most popular social media platforms on the planet, you may be missing out on valuable customer and audience reach by negating the phone app.
Now that everyone has adopted TikTok from Gen Z to their Boomer arch-enemies, it’s the perfect time to find ways to ensure your TikTok video content stands out.
But, how does one compete with a never-ending flow of dancing teenagers—and grandparents who complain about dancing teenagers—while also sharing ideas for a better cup of coffee?
Elevating your production value is one simple way to increase your chances of finding an audience among the noise—and a gear upgrade is a simple way to elevate production value.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best phones, cameras, and production accessories for TikTok creators.
Best Smartphones for TikTok Videos
Any “Gear for TikTok” list has to start with smartphones, the camera of choice for many online content creators. Similar to DSLR and Mirrorless digital cameras, the quality of a smartphone camera still comes down to the same factors—sensor size and recording capabilities.
These specs are changing rapidly in a hyper-competitive market, so there’s not a lot of value in saying things like: “You have to have 4K or 8K” or “You need at least a twelve-megapixel sensor.”
Instead, look at the latest releases by some of the biggest brands because that’s where you’ll find today’s best smartphone cameras.
Best Smartphone Video Attachments
If you want to make your fancy new phone even fancier and the content you create with it even shinier, get a couple of attachments. They’ll make your camera more versatile and increase the quality of your footage.
You’ve got plenty of options, including lens attachments that create different focal lengths, filters for shooting in bright sunlight, and tripods and gimbals for stabilization and movement.
Tripods and Gimbals
DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras
If you’re serious about your content, don’t lose sleep on traditional digital cameras, like DSLR and mirrorless. Just because you’re shooting TikTok videos that will be viewed on smartphones doesn’t mean you can’t use your trusty digital camera.
When shooting TikTok videos with a regular digital video camera, you’ll face two issues. The first is downsampling. The second is simply deciding how you want to shoot your videos. After all, TikTok content is meant to be viewed vertically.
These issues are addressed in this comprehensive article on creating vertical videos that breaks down everything you need to know about the process.
However, since most of your videos will need to be heavily downgraded and cut down to fit TikTok’s video length and file size, it opens the door for you to either chase the latest, greatest resolutions, or to embrace what you can afford and work with a popular prosumer camera.
Here are some recommendations for different camera types at various price points.
From here, you’re going to want to snag some production equipment that complements your camera. Be sure to keep an eye out for gear like tripods and gimbals that’ll allow you to flip your camera vertically.
TikTok Lighting Resources
TikTok, the big screen, phones, DSLRs—whatever. Suppose you’re shooting video, lighting matters. While many TikTok creators employ the straightforward ring light approach, there are plenty of other options, both from a smartphone attachment perspective, as well as what you’d traditionally use for digital video production.
If you want to dig deeper into how better lighting equipment leads to higher-quality digital video content, check out these resources:
Audio Gear for TikTok
It’s not just lighting. If you’re shooting video, audio matters, too. Again—TikTok, the big screen, phones, DSLRs—whatever.
Sure, if you’re creating TikTok content that’s set to music or making something that doesn’t require new, original audio, you might be okay without sound gear.
Crisp, clear sound is a thing of beauty. But, since the audio quality isn’t usually a big concern for most content creators, this presents another opportunity to stand out.
Here are some recommendations for attachable camera microphones:
Audio and Mics
And, here are some resources that cover best practices for recording audio on traditional video production video sets:
For more TikTok advice and further filmmaking insights, keep reading:
Cover image via November27.